The famous remark that golf is “a good walk spoiled” has been attributed to both Winston Churchill and Mark Twain over the years. Whoever said it had obviously never really explored the incredible circuits America has to offer.
Played over landscape so jaw-droppingly beautiful as to make you lose focus on the 18th green, a golfing holiday to these destinations will make you the envy of the clubhouse.
Cypress Point – California
Ranked number 1 in Golf Digest’s list of the most fun private courses, and consistently placed in the top 3 ever made by the largest publications, this short but scenic links was nicknamed the Sistine Chapel of golf by the former USGA president, which makes it all the more unfortunate that it is so hard to play a round here – it’s by invitation from a member only, and when the going is this good, people can be reluctant to share. But if you can somehow wangle an invite then it’s an opportunity not to be passed up.
Cypress Point was the work of famed designer Alister Mackenzie, who chose to let the course take an organic form rather than overrule the jagged coastline dotted with sand dunes, and the pine forests and cypress trees that overhang them. The back nine here is the stuff of legend, and Cypress Point has a richly-deserved place in golfing history. Stay in the nearby city of Monterey, a scenic Pacific locale with a diverse quotient of sealife to view, often from the course itself.
Pebble Beach – California
Another favourite among pro golfers, the course here is a particular favourite of one of the game’s greatest ever players, Jack Nicklaus, who has gone on record as saying that if he could only ever play one more round in his life, it would be at Pebble Beach. Now close to a century old, the club here has been host to golf’s most prestigious tournaments, as well as it’s most recognisable faces – among those who have hit 18 holes here are Tiger Woods, Bill Murray, Bing Crosby and Phil Mickelson.
The dramatic scenery on offer at Pebble Beach, which like Cypress Point stays close to the rocky coast, enhances the quality of the course design to make this an unforgettable experience. It will cost you a lot to play here, but the club offers several packages which you can combine with fine dining and pampering in the on-site spa. Truly then, California is the place to be if you want to play the finest game of golf in the world.
Dinah Shore Weekend – Palm Springs
Golf has the reputation of being quite an exclusive sport, and it doesn’t get much more exclusive than the annual Dinah Shore Weekend, held at this well-known resort every spring. It’s an event reserved for lesbian golfers, and has become far and away the biggest of its kind.
Around 10,000 participants turn up from all over the world, some to play the course, others just there for a good time. And what a raucous time it is – five days of pool parties, comedy nights, and concerts by hugely-famous acts including the Pussycat Dolls, Salt ‘n’ Pepa and K$sha. It’s a wonder any of these ladies have any energy left to swing a club.
Seminole – Florida
With a reputation as one of the best, and most challenging, circuits in one of America’s top states for golfing, Seminole is about as good as it gets. This is a course that commands respect, and a defensive game is needed to avoid some nasty sand traps. Par is 73, giving some indication of the tough conditions.
The great thing about Florida of course is you can play pretty much all year round, such is the fantastic weather, and there’s plenty of theme parks and beaches here so Dad needn’t feel too guilty about taking the odd afternoon to hit a few balls around. Itinerary advice is available through the TrekAmerica website for families wanting to see Florida, including its golf courses.
Biog: Rob has been playing golf for sixteen years, and has twice come within 20 feet of a hole-in-one.